Happily ever after...

My oldest son is getting married and I was fortunate to be involved in planning the bridal shower. I had so much fun letting my creatively run wild and I do mean wild. I sometimes go over board well maybe all the time. It's just that I loved everything that when into planning the shower the invitation, favors, centerpieces, cake, just everything!
First I decided what I wanted to do for the shower and six months in advance I booked a restaurant for a lovely champagne brunch. From that start everything just fell into place. The feel of the shower was important to me so I chose everything to compliment the wedding theme and color. I wanted the look and feel of the shower to be simply elegant and most of all special for the bride.
First I started to look for invitations. I knew that I was going to do something more than just basic invitations and I was so lucky to find the most wonderful blank invitation with beautiful art work depicting three different style bridal shoes. Now did I say that I love shoes and I mean love and the bride loves shoes so these were the perfect invitations. The invitations are from a company called Four Seasons Designs. I just fell in love with all their invitations. The art work is wonderful, different and so unique. When I went to order the invitation I was sad to find out that the company is no longer offering their invitations, just their collection of calendars, because the owner is semi-retiring. I bought the last of the bridal shoe invitations, just enough for the shower.
Did I say I like to go over board, well just printing these beautiful invitations wasn't enough, I embellished each shoe. I attached pearls to the shoe with a pearl decoration, I sparkled the shoe with a rhinestone buckle and I added a ribbon bow to the shoe with a bow. And I made custom paper lined envelopes. I even matched up the address label and my return label. I forgot to mention that I am addicted to The Paper Source www.paper-source.com. I purchased all my supplies from this store and I can't speak highly enough of the expert sales people who assisted me each step of the way. The finished invitations are just simply elegant. I had so much fun working on these invitations that I almost didn't want to be finished with the project.

After mailing out the invitations I started thinking about what I wanted to do for favors. Back to The Paper Source for more inspiration and help from my new friends at the store. The Paper Source has wonderful favor boxes in different shapes, colors and sizes that you can decorate in all fun ways to make the favors very personalized. I choice the pocket book style(Oh by the way in addition to loving shoes, handbags come in a close second!) in cream and I used the decorative paper from the invitations to decorate. I also made a ribbon handle and my personal favorite, I stamped on each pocket book "happily ever after" in gold ink. No I wasn't finished decorating yet, I used a paper flower with a pearl center as a seal for the pocket book. Each pocket book was filled with chocolate.

We decorated each table with the bride's grandmother's English bone tea cups and filled the tea cups with the traditional wedding almonds. I finished the table with a simple glass vase filled with ornamental grass and three blue hydrangeas from my garden. My friend who is an expert flower arranger share with me the tip to condition the hydrangeas before making the centerpieces. Conditioning prevents the hydrangeas from dropping their head. The easiest way to condition hydrangeas from your garden is to cut your flowers and put right them into water.(I bring a tub or bucket outside with me) Bring the flowers inside make a fresh cut on stem and immediately plunge the stem into boiling water for 10 seconds. Then, immediately plunge into cool water, all the way up to the neck and leave the flowers in the water over night. The reason is to force the air out of the stem which prevents the flowers from taking up more water than they are giving off. This really works. I wouldn't believe it unless I tried it on my hydrangeas.

I worked with the bakery to carry the color and tea cup theme and a beautiful cake was created complete with a tea cup that was filled with almonds.

The day of the shower was a beautiful perfect summer day. The bride-to-be was thrilled with the lovely shower.

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